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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

USA Wins Gold....


By Fred Wallace


Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".

It's time for the Shootout in hockey to vanish, certainly at the highest levels.

I can understand in a local town tournament, like the old Penetang Winterama Novice Tournament, when ice time limits and game schedule times at an arena are tight and need to be adhered to.

But at the Olympics ?

For the next four years, the United States will rightfully claim they were the Gold Medal Champions in Women's Hockey at South Korea.

And while the Americans do in fact have the Gold, it's a gold with an asterisk in the eyes of many, including me, since the victory came in a shootout and can they really maintain they " beat " Canada for the Gold ?

At the NHL level, too many points are garnered by shootout success, and too many playoff positions hang in the balance for a team that wins outright but watches a rival get the same two points by virtue of their skill level in the shootout.

I honestly wish the Ontario Hockey League would take the lead on change.

Three on three OT is generally highly exciting in the OHL...but the buzz often gets killed by the delay before the shootout while the ice is scraped.

Plus, I've yet to ever hear a shootout game winner get a roar from a crowd like an overtime winner, so please don't tell me the shootout is for the " fans ".

So it's time for the movers and shakers in the hockey world to bid farewell to the shootout.

I'm Fred Wallace

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